What is Twitter? It’s like an instant messenger, it’s like a chat room, it’s like an RSS feed, it’s like a mini-blog, it’s like SMS… in fact, since it’s a little like all these things, it’s not really like anything else.
I’ve been inhabiting the Twitterverse for a few months now. It’s been an interesting experience. I’ve also seen a lot of talk recently about how people are using Twitter in various ways. Rather than repeat good points that have been already made, here’s a quick listing of some interesting posts that I’ve come across.
- Twitter Tutorial on Screencast-o-matic – In this video, Jeff Roney walks you through how to use Twitter via Facebook, and shows examples of how he’s used Twitter. Plus the screencasting concept is pretty cool too. My fave bit is this explanation of Twitter: “… like being at a cocktail party with a bunch of people that you may or may not know. As you’re checking in, you’re seeing different bits of information as it kind of flows by.”
- 10 Ways Twitter Can Boost Your Social News Profile – Post title is a bit of a misnomer, as there are some good ideas here about how to manage your presence on Twitter. Good point about standardizing avatars and and user names across your online presences.
- The 10 ways I learned to use Twitter in 2007… (aka Why and How I use Twitter) – Great post from Dan York, including points on using Twitter as a news source, as travelogue, to track conferences… plus a nice explanation of how he uses Twitter via Skype. Interesting point:
I find that I do not really use Twitter as a conversation tool… Yes, I do participate in some “conversations”. Yes, I do think of Twitter as a “global conversation”… I can see the value in that… and do participate directly in that conversation from time-to-time, but I just don’t find myself doing it all that often.
Yup, I can relate – I haven’t really used Twitter that way much either. Maybe this aspect will come with more time spent in the medium.
- Examples of Twitter Providing Business Benefit – Uses listed in this post include beta testing, knowledge base, and “crisis warning system.”
- 17 Ways You Can Use Twitter: A Guide for Beginners, Marketers and Business Owners – The longest list yet! And some original uses listed – as a tool for time management, as a repository for taking notes, and as a to do list. Also good points of the way that Twitter feels when you’re using it… how it creates “ambient intimacy,” how the user experience is fragmented, how it can be a distraction (yup, been there done that).
I’ve yet to try many of these uses, but there’s lots of food for thought here.
Update: It appears that these guides on how to use Twitter are something of a phenomenon. From a recent post on Des Walsh’s blog:
Somewhere on Twitter today I noticed that someone asked why, for something as simple to use as Twitter, there were so many guides.
I don’t know how many guides to Twitter there are, but with a bit of googling around today I’ve found several. And my guess is that while the basic process of using Twitter is simple enough, making sense of why you might use it and to what purpose might well warrant a guide – or several.
If you read the full post, there a links to a number of other sources on using Twitter. More for me to read!